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Brideshead Revisited (ATOM Study Guide)

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SKU: SG459

Brideshead Revisited will have interest and relevance for students at middle and senior secondary levels, as well as tertiary students studying in a number of areas including:

  • English – exploring a complex narrative that moves between several time periods and societies; understanding the psychological dimensions to characters and how they are revealed over time.
  • Media and Film Studies – screenwriting and adaptation of text to screen. What can be left out and what must remain?
  • History – changes to society and life in Britain between the first and second world wars.
  • Culture and Society – understanding the changes in attitudes and values in a society over time as they are reflected in a work of literature and a film.
  • Religious Studies – the influence of religious faith in the life of a family.


For some viewers of Brideshead Revisited, the film may seem to be very much a 'period piece' reflecting a time and place and social attitudes that are long gone. There is an element of 'soap opera' about the story as we are carried along by the intensity of these people's lives and loves as they come together, travel, move apart and come together again. We want to know how it will all end. Will Lady Marchmain's will and insistence on her children's adherence to the tenets of her Catholic faith prevail? What does it mean to be happy? Do family loyalties and values inevitably prevail as we face the complexities of life? What do we discover about life in England between the two wars when the social order was changing in so many ways? Are class differences and social aspirations different today? How have attitudes towards sexuality changed over the past eighty years? In what ways is this story relevant to our lives today?

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